A World Waiting To Be Won Duncan Heaster email the author


4. Humility And Preaching

4-1 Humility And Preaching || 4-2 Bent Knees, Wet Eyes, Broken Hearts: Emotion In Preaching || 4-3 The More Real, The More Credible || 4-4 Preaching In The Workplace: Sample Dialogues || 4-5 Guilt And Grace || 4-5-1The Extent Of Grace || 4-5-2 Grace And Guilt || 4-5-3 True And False Guilt || 4-5-4 Barriers Against Grace


4-4 Preaching In The Workplace: Sample Dialogues

Appendix: Sample dialogue for group practice and discussion. Do it in pairs and then discuss the questions.

W= worker

C = Christian preacher.

Both these men have some kind of problem in their marriage- a commonality the preacher could capitalise on.

Dialogue 1

W: How are things today?

C: Well, want an honest answer? Not good.

W: OhÖ.? Really? {surprised- expecting ĎFine!í}

C: Yeah. You know Iím a Christian, really into the Bible and all that,  but last night I swore at my wife, and I really just canít forgive myself. I feelÖso awful about it.

W: {Surprised}: OhÖ.errÖwell, we all do it, hey.

C: Yeah, you know, but for meÖI mean, do you mind me talking to you?

W: Sure sure sure sure, yeah, I meanÖ

C: Well I dunno, itís just that, you know, I really believe that Jesus was of our nature, OK, it means He was tempted like us, He must have got tempted to swear at people but He didnít, He was just, so, patient. I was telling a guy the other day how Jesus isnít God and thatís important because it means He was like us and can therefore feel for us, He knows just what we feel like, and so, He can forgive us. So, you know, I believe all this, I was baptized, that means I got immersed, dipped, into the death and resurrection of Jesus, so, like, Iím forgiven, I really believe Iím forgiven for swearing at her, but, you know, itís just so hard to believe and feel it and to just get on with life. You knowÖwell, maybe you donít

W: Hey, I do kinda know what you mean, Iím not the church type, but I tell you, although Iíd never admit it to my wife, when we have a row, I really feel bad about it afterwards. I try to forget it but I canít.

C: Yeah. Itís JUST how Iím feeling now. Feeling bad about it afterwards. And yeah, you never like to admit it to her. Right. But then, I feel in a worse position, because Iím baptized, it means, Iím one with Jesus Christ, I ought to act like He does all the time, I should be Christ to her, I should believe that because Jesus was like me and died for me as a representative of me, that Iím really forgiven.

W: Hey I donít get all that stuff, representativeÖ?

C: Yeah OK Iím going too fast, anyway, weíd better get to work hey. Forgive me.

W: No, no worries, I feel good I could do someone a bit of good by listening. But you know, that wasÖwell, an unusual conversationÖIíll be thinking about that a lot.

C: Yeah? Thanks, it did do me some good. Well I guess the real Christianity is unusual. Truthís stranger than fiction. Our guys actually call it ďthe truthĒ. Well I was helped in understanding it by reading a book, Iíll give you a copy tomorrow. Ha, donít worry, Iím not a religious nut- swearing at Jean I canít be, hey- but, you know, you can chew on it at your own pace.

W: Yeah? Sure, gimme a copy, Iíll browse it. I had a look into the Bible once, all I can remember was something about ďbeggars canít be choosersĒ, pathetic, huh.

C: Sure. I feel like that. Beggars canít be choosers. Thatís how I feel a bit. Begging for mercy, and getting it. Anyway, letís get back to the grindstone hey.

W {gently pats C on the back}. Yup.

Dialogue 2

W: How are things today?

C: Fine! We had a great meeting at our ecclesia last night, about the death of Christ

W: Oh. Well, glad it put you in a good mood. What are we doing at work today?

C: Err, getting those reports done I guess. Anyway, the speaker we had was bringing out about how most churches have got it wrong, Jesus died as our representative not our substitute, and He wasnít God, you know, that trinity idea is so wrong and blasphemous yet millions believe it?

W: Well you know me Iím not into all that church stuff, Iíve got to try to keep my marriage together, man, you shouldíve heard my wife rowing with me last night! I donít suppose a bit of theology would ever put her straight!

C: Well the Truthís a wonderful thing you know, this brother xxxxx who was speaking, wow, he was just such a speaker, I went home just thrilled. I couldíve faced anything after that! And itís such a blessing when your partnerís in the Truth, like my wife is, you know, weíre so united on everything!

W: Yup, guess itís good when someone finds something that helps them through life, but, I dunno, I had a lot of relationships, and this is my 3rd marriage and I really donít reckon two people agree on everything. Ever. Especially when the wifeís a Catholic and you arenít! But then, you know, youíve gotta have relationships, I mean ďbeggars canít be choosersĒ ha. Thatís about what I learnt from the Bible when I looked at it once- you know, Matthew 98 verseÖ.672! Or whatever. Yeah. ďBeggars canít be choosersĒ, I liked that bit!

C: Come on youíre being blasphemous, Iím a Christian and I canít stand that sort of language. The Bible says nothing of the sort. Please, be considerate to me. And I also have to say: the Catholic church is the most evil bunch of people ever. I suspect thatís the root of the problem in your marriage.

W: Man, it was just a joke! No, Iím not blasphemous, Iím a religious kinda guy underneath, just, all that church stuff and reading out bits from this and that prayer book, no pal, not for me. Catholics, no, I donít reckon itís a bad idea, not for me, but no, hey, anyway, you never met my wife! I can tell you, it makes no difference what religion we both are, thatís not our problem. Iíd join the Catholics tomorrow if that would make my marriage easier! Actually, I wonder if it might not help, in all seriousness.

C {turning away in disgust}: Well anyway I think we ought to get to work and not just waste our employerís time chatting like this.

  • Both introduce the ideas of:

-            truth

-            Jesus as our representative

-            Jesus of our nature

-            The danger of false doctrine and false churches

  • How does each Christian do it, for each of these things?

  • Both use the phrase ďthe truthĒ, but note the different ways they present the phrase.

  • The second dialogue includes several in-house phrases. How do you think they would be interpreted by the listener?

  • Both speak from personal experience; but of what?

  • Who is the more credible and why? Who ends up confirming the other man in his position, and who opens up the possibility of changing him? Why?

  • There is a rapport in the 1st conversation. How is it developed? How does C reflect the language of W? How does he win his confidence? How is the conversation mutual? Where does it lead?

  • Can you imagine the body language of each speaker during each part of the conversation? How much eye contact would there be and at what times and places in the sentences? Was there any chance of body  contact at all in the 2nd dialogue? When could the ĎCí in the 1st dialogue have used body contact, like, touching the arm of W? And when might W have touched his arm or shoulder?